Chester County Leaders Unveil 10-Year Economic Plan for Long-Term Growth

Chester County Leaders Unveil VISTA 2025 Plan with
More than 180 Strategies for Long-Term Economic Growth

Plan Balances Economic Progress with Preservation of County’s Heritage

856MALVERN, PA – Chester County government officials joined with key business leaders, educators and non-profit executives today in unveiling VISTA 2025, a 10-year economic development plan that includes more than 180 strategies that will balance Chester County’s future economic progress with preservation. The plan, put together by a unique public-private partnership, is the product of a nine month period of planning, guided by extensive community input and economic analysis.

“We are pleased to share the findings of this strategic planning process,” said Ryan Costello, Chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners and co-chair of the VISTA 2025 Executive Alliance. “Our goal for this public-private initiative was to develop a coordinated, long-term road map for Chester County that ensures a strong economy now and in the future. With participation from a wide-range of constituents, via community questionnaires, round table discussions and business site visits, combined with close analysis of economic data, we are confident that this report reflects the values and priorities of our local stakeholders and capitalizes on Chester County’s competitive strengths.”

The VISTA 2025 document outlines five economic development goals which are supported by a list of more than 180 strategies and actions with targeted deadlines. Strategies range from broad to specific and reflect both short-term opportunities and a long-range vision for the county. The complete document is available online at www.vista2025.com. A sampling of the goals and strategies presented in VISTA 2025 include:

GOAL 1: Maintain and enhance “quality of place” — which makes Chester County attractive to current and future residents — as a key component of economic health.

  • Preserve & protect natural lands
  • New approaches to allow adaptation of suburban office parks
  • Establish an “urban area economic strategy”

GOAL 2: Position the county as a magnet for attracting talent and a model for building an employer-ready workforce.

  • Expand awareness of range of job opportunities
  • Leverage tourism and visitation as a talent and business outreach strategy
  • Opportunities for emerging leaders and young professionals to engage in civic and economic development affairs

GOAL 3: Expand business attraction and retention efforts with a focus on targeted industry clusters.

  • Strengthen and build on key industry clusters
  • Raise the profile of Chester County to employers and investors outside of the county
  • Preserve and expand agriculture

GOAL 4: Establish an innovation culture that supports entrepreneurship and business growth.

  • Enhance the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem, infrastructure, and services
  • Focus on building R&D capacity
  • Pursue higher education as a long-term target sector
  • Improve access to capital

GOAL 5: Support critical infrastructure in targeted corridors of opportunity.

  • Preserve and expand sites within the county most appropriate for higher intensity employment
  • Support and capitalize on PennDOT planned investment in Keystone Corridor track and station improvements
  • Work to ensure an adequate supply of workforce housing for all wage levels

“With the VISTA 2025 plan now developed, we are now moving into the implementation phase,” said Gary Smith, President and CEO of the Chester County Economic Development Council. “We look forward to connecting with local organizations and business leaders in the coming weeks and months to begin carrying out our near-term strategies.”

The main objective of VISTA 2025 is to maintain and build upon Chester County’s position as one of the leading counties in the nation in categories such as best place to raise a family, health of its citizens, household income and low unemployment.
VISTA 2025 is an initiative coordinated in response to a recommendation in Landscapes 2, the Chester County Comprehensive Plan, which called for the preparation of a county economic development strategy. VISTA 2025 was spearheaded by the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC), a private, non-profit, economic development organization promoting smart growth in Chester County and the surrounding region. To help guide the process, CCEDC engaged the services of TIP Strategies, a nationally recognized consulting firm that focuses on strategic economic development planning. The project has been funded through a combination of public and private contributions.

“Preparing the VISTA 2025 plan was a great team and collaborative effort,” said Tom Fillippo, President and CEO of Devault Foods and private sector Co-Chairman of the VISTA 2025 Executive Alliance. “Going forward, we need to continue to collaborate and work together to implement these strategies that will keep our economy strong, position Chester County for the future, and maintain the high quality of life that makes the county such a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

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